A judge has ruled that a 26-year-old man will stand trial on murder charges in a fatal shooting in southwest Missouri.

Clinton Blizzard is charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the September death of Nathaniel "Steven" Higgins. The Joplin Globe reports a Lawrence County judge ruled Thursday that Blizzard will stand trial on the charges.

The judge set Dec. 14 for the defendant's next hearing.

Authorities say Blizzard fled the scene after Higgins was shot to death. He was captured three days later when an off-duty Jasper County jailer recognized him in a Joplin store and contacted police.

A public defender listed as representing Blizzard didn't immediately return a call seeking comment early Friday.